Former president Jordi Pujol recovering from a stroke in hospital
Medical team explains possible effects on speech are biggest cause for conern
BarcelonaFormer Catalan president Jordi Pujol is "conscious" and in "observation" at the stroke unit of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, as explained at a press conference by the medical team that has treated him this morning. Dr. Albert Lleó, director of the neurology service, explained that during the course of today he will undergo a cranial CAT scan to assess whether there are brain injuries after the intervention carried out yesterday afternoon, when Pujol was admitted to hospital due to speech difficulties. He will now be under observation for 24 to 48 hours to determine whether there is any lasting damage, since right now it cannot be assessed because he is under the effects of sedative drugs there is no way of knowing whether he still has any problems speaking.
The hospital has reported that he underwent an "endovascular treatment to remove the blockage" of the cerebral artery, which had reduced blood flow to the brain: "It was diagnosed in time to administer the necessary treatment," said the medical team, which clarified that this treatment was applied despite his 92 years because of his previous "lively" state: "He was in good condition". This decision was also endorsed by the family despite the "risks" involved in the intervention.
Dr. Joan Martí-Fàbregas, director of the stroke unit, admitted that at his age there could be complications, but he wanted to emphasize that the treatment (which consisted of mechanical extraction via the femoral artery to remove the thrombus by aspiration) was technically successful. In this sense, he predicted that he could recover completely or partially from the language deficit, since for the time being he has been able to recognise his children, who are with him at the hospital.
Acting in time
Pujol presented language difficulties yesterday at 11 a.m. and his family decided to take him to the Hospital de Barcelona, where an initial observation was made. Given the symptoms he presented, a possible stroke was diagnosed and he was transferred at five o'clock in the afternoon to the Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona, experienced in treating these cases in older people. After performing a cranial CAT scan, an obstruction to the left middle cerebral artery was detected and as under eight hours had passed since of onset of symptoms, the medical team decided alongside the family to intervene and carry out an endovascular treatment to remove the thrombus.